Doctoral dissertation on the use of AIS-data for vessel collision risk analysis

Mr. Lei Du defended his doctoral dissertation on 1 October 2021 at Aalto University, in the field of marine technology. The opponent was Associate Professor Rafał Szłapczyński from the Gdansk University of Technology, Poland. Assistant professor Osiris Valdez Banda – a member of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre’s management group – was the supervisor of the doctoral thesis.

The thesis, titled as Maritime Traffic Risk Analysis in the Northern Baltic Sea from AIS data, consists of five scientific articles and a summary section. It reviews and develops framework and methodology of maritime traffic risk analysis to support decision-making for the prevention of and response to accidents, particularly ship collisions.

The focus of the thesis is in advancing the latest methodology of utilizing non-accident critical events, in other words near misses, detected from AIS data, as the basis to risk assessments. AIS refers to Automatic Identification Systems tracking the ship movements, being commonly used by vessel traffic service (VTS) centres worldwide.

”Through this work, we can identify the waters where dangerous encounters happened frequently and provide evidence for the identified causes of serious ship encounters,” Mr. Du says.

He continues by telling the results can help developing preventive measures to reduce the ship collision probability, or to minimize the negative consequences of ship collisions by allocating more reponse resources to the most risky areas. The expected end-users of the results include the authorities responsible for maritime traffic planning and management, as well as pollution prevention and response agencies.

The thesis summary can be downloaded from the Aaltodoc publication archive.

A recent scientific article explores biofouling management in shipping

Researchers in the COMPLETE project have published an article that explores the management question related to the biofouling of ships’ underwater structures through qualitative decision analysis. The article recently came out in Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Biofouling management is important to prevent the spread of harmful non-indigenous species, but also from the viewpoint of the fuel economy and CO2 emissions of ships. The attachment and growth of organisms can be prevented by regular cleaning of the underwater parts of vessels and by applying various antifouling or foul-release coatings. However, there are risks associated with the methods and their combinations, that should be considered when making choices.

In their recent article, the researchers clarify the multifaceted and cross-disciplinary nature of the biofouling management decisions. To support readers’ thinking, the problem is visualized as a causal conceptual map (qualitative influence diagram). The article explains how ship- and route-specific factors, as well as the physico-chemical conditions in the Baltic Sea, affect the case-specifically optimal choices. The control options are viewed in a multi-objective manner, from the perspectives of shipping companies’ fuel and biofouling management costs, CO2 emissions and the risks to the Baltic Sea ecosystem.

The article is part of KMRC-researcher Emilia Luoma’s PhD study in the research group of the University of Helsinki. In her thesis, Luoma applies participatory system modeling methods to examine environmental and sustainability issues related to marine traffic in the Baltic Sea.

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Assessing and managing the risks of oil accidents – Doctoral dissertation

Liangliang Lu, a member of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre’s research community, defended his doctoral dissertation on 18 June 2021 at Aalto University in the field of marine technology. The opponent was Professor Zaili Yang from Liverpool John Moores University.

During his thesis work, Lu has developed methods for assessing and managing the risks of oil accidents in challenging icy conditions, the case study area being the northern Baltic Sea.

As the annual ice-covered period shortens, new shipping lanes will open-up in the Arctic and subarctic seas. When shipping in these challenging conditions increases, the likelihood of accidents increases. The low-biodiversity northern ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to various disturbances and the oil spill could have more devastating consequences in these areas than average. Oil spill response in icy conditions is also highly challenging and its success uncertain.

Lianliang Lu’s thesis focuses specifically on improving the effectiveness of oil spill response in ice conditions. It starts by developing a holistic system model that describes a chain of events from a ship collision to the amount of oil leaking from a tanker, oil drifting in the ocean, and eventually oil spill response in ice conditions.

“In order to propose effective risk management measures, we must first understand the risk-generating system,” says Lu.

“Systems modeling helps to identify the most critical factors affecting the effectiveness of oil spill response. On this basis, it is possible to start planning optimal risk management measures – that is, measures to improve oil spill response,” he states.

The thesis then identifies the operability of an oil spill response vessel in ice as one of the most critical factors influencing the success of oil spill response. On this basis, Lu has developed a new type of operability index based on transit modelling in dynamic ice, to be used as a tool during oil spill response operations. The index is calculated for each response vessel and is intended to assist in the planning and execution of a spill response operation under the environmental and ice conditions prevailing at the time of the accident.

Lianliang Lu’s thesis have been partly conducted as part of the SIMREC -project.

The thesis consists of five scientific articles and a summary titled as ”Risk management of ship-source oil spill in ice conditions in the Northern Baltic Sea”. The summary can be downloaded from the Aaltodoc publication archive.

 

Annual Report 2020 published

Year 2020 has been very different. For us as a research centre, the ongoing pandemic has not been catastrophic, but it has changed the ways of cooperation. In the Annual Report of Kotka Maritime Research Centre you can check the facts and figures from the year 2020.

COMPLETE project will be followed by an extension stage project COMPLETE PLUS

COMPLETE project will be followed by an extension stage project COMPLETE PLUSPractical implementation of the COMPLETE project outputs and tools”, receiving co-financing from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. The project will start in April 2021 and end in December 2021, and it will be implemented by 11 COMPLETE project partners. The project aims to ensure that COMPLETE project outputs will be operationalized to ensure their sustainable use by all relevant actors and stakeholders. Further information about the COMPLETE PLUS will be shared at the COMPLETE web page in due time (www.balticcomplete.com).

COMPLETE Final Conference materials available

 

9-10 February 2021

The Final Conference of the COMPLETE project “Completing management options in the Baltic Sea Region to reduce the risk of invasive species introduction by shipping” was held on 9-10 February 2021 as an online conference. Over 160 participants from 18 countries attended this event, representing policy makers, authorities, shipping companies, ports/port authorities, boating associations, companies providing hull cleaning services and antifouling systems, scientists and non-governmental organizations, among others. The first day was dedicated to the work that has been carried out in the COMPLETE project to support the harmonized implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). On the second day, the presentations focused on the biofouling management issues in the BSR, and showcased the results on harmonized monitoring of non-indigenous species in the region.

The recorded conference presentations can be viewed, and the presentations as PDFs can be downloaded at the conference web page: https://balticcomplete.com/news/final-conference.

Reports of research assessment are now published

Kotka Maritime Research Centre invited two external reviewers to assess the work of the centre and to provide recommendations for the further development. The reports provides the assessment of two external reviewers during the period from 2015 to 2018 and to provide.  The assessment was to assess the quality and potential of the research, the success of multi- and interdisciplinary collaboration within KMRC as well as KMRC’s research impact, societal impact and innovative capacity. The external reviewers are Dr. Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs, Vice-President (Academic Affairs) and Professor from World Maritime University and FT, Adjunct Professor Anita Mäkinen from Finnish Transport and Communications Agency.

Please read the assessment reports here.

KMRC Publications 1 External review Anita Mäkinen

KMRC Publications 2 External review Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs

 

Annukka Lehikoinen will start as a new Research Director

Annukka Lehikoinen, PhD in Environmental Sciences, has been nominated as a Research Director of the Kotka Maritime Research Center. Lehikoinen will start in the position on April 1, 2021.

The new research director has an important role in raising the scientific profile of the research center. She will participate in the planning and execution of the research work, coordinating and facilitating the cooperation of the multisectoral network of researchers and stakeholders.

– I’m pleased about this opportunity. Kotka Maritime Research Center is conducting societally significant research in the field of sustainable shipping and I look forward to promoting this work together with a high-level multidisciplinary network of experts, Annukka Lehikoinen says.

Annukka Lehikoinen defended her dissertation at the University of Helsinki in 2014. In her PhD thesis, she developed and applied AI tools on assessing environmental risks arising from oil transportations. Since then, Lehikoinen has deepened her expertise in the field of multidisciplinary risk and decision analysis, familiarised with machine learning and explored sustainable development from a systems analytic perspective. She has also been a co-implementer in the recent research projects of the Kotka Maritime Research Center, related to alien invasive species risks in shipping, international oil spill response cooperation and the sustainable development of marinas.

Lehikoinen is transferring to KMRC from the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Social Sciences , where she works as a researcher in the Environmental Policy Research Group. As her most recent conquest, Lehikoinen mentions long-term strategic planning tools – a topic she has been working on in cooperation with representatives of the City of Kotka over the past year.

– I am happy with the selection, says the technical director at the City of Kotka, Vesa-Jukka Vornanen. From our viewpoint, Lehikoinen is an excellent choice to foster the sustainable development of the city and the region, where the maritime activities have long traditions.

Kotka Maritime Research Center was founded in 2005 on the initiative of the City of Kotka. The research is carried out in collaboration with the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, the University of Turku and the Southeastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.